The musings of a fantasy illustrator. Artwork, art-talk, and randomness.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Art School Confidential

My first semester at art school, I met a very talented watercolor artist named Alexi Taylor. I think he graduated at the end of my 1st or 2nd year and seems to have since disappeared, though I have reason to believe he did a little comic work in the mid-90s. In any case, beyond being an inspiration to a bright-eyed freshman and showing me how puppies are great for meeting women (a tip I've never had cause to use, and hopefully never will), Alexi one day sat down at my table in the campus cafe and handed me a photocopy of Dan Clowes' art school confidential, which I guess appeared in a comic called "Eightball." I think it was Alexi's way of mentoring a younger student.

If you've seen the movie "Ghost World" you have some idea what this comic was about. it was 4-pages I think and summed up in the most succinct and true fashion the life of the art school student, and the utterly ridiculous stuff that goes on as one tries to get an art education. They managed to sneak in a good amount of the comic into Ghost World, but apparently they are expanding the topic and creating a movie solely dedicated to this truly inspired comic strip (edit: the film was not so great). That comic strip prepared me for the three years I spent in art school, especially because my school was far more fine-artsy than others.

If you are entertaining the notion of attending art school, or know someone who is, track down a copy of Art School Confidential if you can. Consider it one artist mentoring another.

I'd be curious to see what Alexi is up to these days. I can't say I made good friends of any of the art school folk, and I have a longer memory than most with things like this. I'm likely to remember people who have long since forgotten about me. I keep a little bookmark folder and like to see what they're up to from time to time. As Clowes predicted, that folder is surprisingly empty. So few art students manage to make it anywhere of note.